We are reader supported. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Also, as an Amazon affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchases.
Of the 50 states in the United States, 22 have a National Football League team. Because the NFL has 32 teams, it means some states have more than 1 top-level professional team ~ and several states have more than a couple..
Our readers have asked us which state has the most NFL teams, and the answer is a tie:
New York, California and Florida.
- New York state has the New York Jets, New York Giants, and Buffalo Bills.
- The state of California has the San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Ram, and Los Angeles Chargers.
- Florida is home to the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Miami Dolphins.
California at 1 point had 4 NFL teams, believe it or not. That only changed when the Raiders moved from Oakland to Las Vegas.
More than 3 NFL teams in a single state?
Before the Raiders moved to Las Vegas in 2020, the team played in Oakland, California. During that time, California had 4 NFL teams spread throughout the state: the trio mentioned above, plus the Raiders. It was the most NFL teams to be in a single state at the same time.
States with 2 or more NFL teams
A total of 7 states with more than 1 NFL team. To the 3 states mentioned above, add:
- Maryland has the Baltimore Ravens and the Washington Commanders (formerly the Redskins).
- The state of Ohio is home to tthe Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns.
- Pennsylvania has the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles.
- Texas has the Houston Texansand the Dallas Cowboys.
WHY SOME STATES HAVE 2 NFL TEAMS OR MORE
States like California and New York are home to big cities. California has a large, diverse population. There are more people, which means a big enough market for home teams to attract enough fans to be competitive and maintain operations.
New York City is the most densely populated city in the United States, so there is a huge amount of fans and potential fans in a single, regional area.
Cities with more than 1 NFL team?
Los Angeles has two NFL teams: the Rams and Chargers. New York City has both the Jets and the Giants.
It should be noted that neither of the 2 conferences in the NFL have the same city represented twice. In the instances above, the National Football Conference (NFC) has the Rams and Giants; the American Football Conference (AFC) has the Chargers and Jets.
Why do Los Angeles and New York get multiple NFL teams?
The reason is Los Angeles and New York are big markets in terms of the sheer number of people, and can generate enough revenue each to sustain the operations. They have large enough base of people who either are fans already, or who could spend money on the team in the future.
In the other major North American team sports, baseball, basketball, and hockey, New York City as the municipality with the largest population in the nation has had 2 teams for many years. Consider:
New York has had at least 2 teams since the start of the 20th century, with the Yankees along with the Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers originally. When the latter pair jumped to the West Coast, the Mets were born to fill the void. It remains a Yankees-Mets city today.
Chicago also has had 2 MLB teams since the start of the 1900s, with its White Sox and Cubs. That also remains currently.
Los Angeles officially has a single team, the Dodgers. However, the Anaheim Angels started as the California Angels and for a period went by the Anaheim Angels of Los Angeles, a nod to the fact that the club is located not far away from Los Angeles at all ~ in the adjacent Orange County.
Basketball’s history is a little similar with baseball, in that the New York Metropolitan Area has had 2 teams since 1967 with introduction of the American Basketball Association (ABA), and its New Jersey Nets. The Nets are like the Angels in baseball, in that the club exists pretty much because it is located close enough to the hub of the Big Apple. The Nets started in Teaneck, New Jersey, spent a period in Long Island as the New York Nets, and then moved back to New Jersey including a season in Newark before moving officially inside New York in 2012 as the Brooklyn Nets.
New York and Los Angeles are the only cities with more than a single team inside a major metropolitan area. New York has had the Rangers since 1926, as an expansion team in the fledgling National Hockey League (NHL). They were joined by the New York Islanders in 1972.
Why NFL Teams Change Cities
Clubs changing cities has happened in the National Football League since its inception in 1922. However, after the growing pains of the first few seasons, club moves were pretty rare, with the big one being the Cleveland Rams moving to Los Angeles in the 1950s.
Introduction of the American Football League (AFL) in 1960 brought football to new cities, and some of them were unable to maintain the franchises. Examples are the original Kansas City Chiefs, which actually began as the Dallas Texans; and the Boston Patriots, who eventually moved out of town and into the suburbs to use the name change to New England Patriots.
Pro football teams change cities usually for financial reasons. Whether or not each club’s finances were good enough to keep the team in the original town remains in debate.
Some changes, like the Raiders to Los Angeles and then back to Oakland, involved not only a desire for more seats in the stadium, but part of an ongoing dispute between owner Al Davis and the league. (The Raiders of course have since moved to Las Vegas).
Significant NFL moves include the Colts out of Baltimore in favor of Indianapolis; and the Cleveland Browns when the franchise moved to Baltimore to become the Ravens. The current Cleveland Browns club is relatively new, coming back as an expansion franchise to carry the old team name in 1999.
The original Browns had a little bit of success over many years, namely in the 1960s with Jim Brown, but nothing compared with what happened to the team that played in Baltimore, as the original Browns players playing as the Ravens began to win Super Bowls.
In the modern era, the quality and size of the stadium hosting the NFL team is constantly in contention. For instance, after the Raiders and Rams left the Los Angeles area (the Rams spent a few years in Anaheim), the nation’s 2nd-largest city did not have a NFL team until the metropolis built a new stadium to bring the Rams and Chargers back.
While the old Coliseum in Los Angeles has been fine for top-level college football games since it opened, NFL teams don’t think it’s built for modern NFL uses.
Question: How many states do not have an NFL team?
Answer: Even though there are 32 NFL teams, 28 states still have no club. They are Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahome, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
Question: What state do the New England Patriots represent?
Answer: The New England Patriots represent a region of more than 1 state, the only team to represent do so. Those states: Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.
Question: Which NFL teams have moved states?
Answer: It is not uncommon for NFL teams to occasionally move to a new state. Here is a list of the most notable teams to move ouf of state:
The Baltimore (Maryland) Colts moved to Indianapolis (Indiana) in 1984, and continued as the Indianapolis Colts.
The Los Angeles (California) Rams moved to St. Louis (Missouri) to become the St. Louis Rams in 1995.
In 1997, the Houston (Texas) Oilers moved to Tennessee, and were renamed the Tennessee Titans.
The St. Louis Rams moved back to Los Angeles in 2016 and became the Los Angeles Rams once again.
The St. Louis Cardinals previously moved to Phoenix, Arizona, to become the Arizona Cardinals.
Which state has won the most Super Bowls?
California has won 8 Super Bowls: By the Los Angeles Raiders (2 while in that city), San Francisco 49ers (5), and the Los Angeles Rams (1 while in L.A.) have each won Super Bowl victories for the state of California.
Do all NFL teams consistently turn a profit?
A: Many NFL teams see profitability from year to year, but some operate at a net loss. Despite not every team experiencing profit annually, owning an NFL team is viewed as a lucrative long-term investment.